'Death spiral': Meth mum's gun running crime spree

A YOUNG mother of two was jailed in Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday for an amphetamine-driven stealing and gun-running rampage between Gympie and Kawana.

Brenda Lee Sparnon, 31, pleaded guilty to burglary, multiple stealing, drug pipe possession, failing to dispose of a used needle, receiving and supplying stolen guns, unlawful use of motor vehicles, stealing a vehicle and dumping it in the Maroochy River and disqualified driving.

The offences were committed on various dates between May 21 and June 20 at locations including Araluen, Bells Bridge, Coolum, Point Arkwright, Yandina, and Kawana, with the possibility some may have been committed slightly outside this range because of uncertainty over exact dates in some cases.

The court was told Sparnon received 22 stolen guns and sold two of them at Coolum, an issue described by Magistrate M Baldwin as a "deplorable" threat to public safety.

"We have strict gun laws because we don't want guns falling into the wrong hands.

"I don't know how you would live with yourself if one of the guns fell into the hands of a person with mental problems and did a Port Arthur," she said.

She described the offences as "a real affront to society".

"Some of these have up to life imprisonment," she told Sparnon, who appeared by video link from prison.

"You'll have to think next time you're tempted by drugs; is it really worth it?" Mrs Baldwin said.

Sparnon's solicitor told the court his client had been almost in a "death spiral" with ice use.

"Without a doubt this was motivated to feed her addiction to this insidious drug," he said.

Sparnon, who has been in jail for five months while awaiting her court appearance, told the court her children, aged nine and eight, were living in Western Australia with their father, who had agreed to bring them over to see her at Christmas if she was out of jail.

"The circumstances are so tragic," Mrs Baldwin said, "to be so young and to be a role model to two children who know their mum's gone off the rails for five months of their very short lives."

The court was told of DNA on a cigarette butt at a crime scene and fingerprint evidence from a ditched car.

Mrs Baldwin jailed Sparnon for 18 months, suspended for three years from December 20 and ordered her to pay $6000 restitution for the dumped vehicle, $70 for stolen petrol and $200 for a damaged tyre.

She fined Sparnon $220 for disqualified driving and banned her from driving for six months.

Gympie Times

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